Police: Salem driver fakes stolen car report to avoid hit-and-run arrest
SALEM, Ore. -- A driver fled the scene after he hit a cyclist Friday night, but Salem Police said a red light camera photo led to the man's arrest.
The 53-year-old cyclist was taken to the hospital where he is expected to survive his injuries, Salem Police said.
A traffic camera captured a silver Jeep Cherokee driving through a red light at NE Commercial and Market Streets at around 9 p.m. Friday, just a block away from where the 53-year-old was hit while crossing Commercial St. at Union St. on his bicycle.
About 15 minutes after the crash took place, police received a call from the car's registered owner reporting his Jeep had been stolen.
Police got the traffic enforcement photograph at around 11 p.m., which showed the car's owner, 38-year-old Antonio Ramos-Perez, was behind the wheel when he ran the red light.
Officers said Ramos-Perez admitted he ran the red light, but initially denied hitting the cyclist. After further discussion he confessed to police he had hit the bicyclist, got scared and decided to try and fake a stolen car scenario by ditching the Jeep in a rural area in Polk County.
Upon returning home Ramos-Perez filed the stolen vehicle report to try and avoid being connected to the hit-and-run accident.
Ramos-Perez was booked at the Marion County Jail for Felony Hit-and-Run and Initiating a False Report.
There is an ongoing crash investigation into what caused the crash.